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Coal and gas deliveries down in 2013

TOTAL 2013 US coal and gas deliveries to filers of the monthly EIA 923 were down 2% and 12% respectively, compared to the previous year, according to SNL Energy.

Lou Caruana
Coal and gas deliveries down in 2013

Over a five-year period, gas deliveries fared much better than coal. Gas deliveries to power plants rose 17% in 2013 compared to 2009, while coal deliveries plunged almost 18% over the same period.

While overall coal deliveries in 2013 were lower than 2012, deliveries to many of the US’s ISO and RTOs increased. ISO New England and New York ISO increased coal deliveries, by 133% and 22%, respectively. Gas deliveries, on the other hand, declined across the board for the entire U.S. during the same period.

Although some regions increased coal deliveries year over year, 2013 total deliveries were down almost 18% compared to 2009, with only ERCOT posting a positive gain, at 2%.

The major driver in coal deliveries to ERCOT was CPS Energy-owned J.T. Deely. Located in Bexar County, Texas, the 840-MW plant increased deliveries almost 137% to 6.4 million tons of delivered coal in 2013 from 2.7 million tons in 2009.

The plant reported net generation of 4,651 GWh in 2013 despite an explosion at unit 1 in September 2013.

Despite higher deliveries compared to 2012 for ISO-NE and NYISO, the two regions saw the largest decline in coal deliveries between 2009 and 2013. NYISO experienced the most precipitous drop among the group, down over 60%, while ISO-NE was close behind with a decline of 51%.

Although average delivered gas prices rose almost 20% in 2013 compared to 2012, the abundance of shale gas contributed to the decline in coal deliveries, especially among the ISOs in the Northeast.

Overall low gas prices allowed gas generators to displace coal units and dispatch more economically. Compared to 2009, average delivered gas prices in 2013 have fallen almost 5% to $4.50/MMBtu from $4.73/MMBtu.

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